Pope Francis Opens Vatican Synod on Family Issues

October 4, 2015 6:16 PM

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ROME — Pope Francis on Sunday told bishops gathered at the Vatican for the opening of a synod on family issues that the church must stay true to its teachings on the “indissolubility” of marriage between a man and a woman. But he also called on them to be sensitive to the complexity of modern society and not be judgmental of it — and to “seek out and care for hurting couples with the balm of acceptance and mercy.”

The church must be a bridge, not a roadblock, for the faithful, the pope said in his homily during the ceremonial Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica that signaled the beginning of the three-week council, in which bishops from around the world will discuss how the church should respond to the needs of the ...

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